Power bids to be sought

The Electricity Regulatory Authority of the Cayman Islands has announced that it will invite bids from electricity companies next year for the generation of 36 megawatts of additional electricity capacity in Cayman.

According to a press release issued Tuesday, the regulatory body this week launched the process of competitive procurement for new power generation capacity on Grand Cayman.

Louis Boucher, acting managing director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority said: “In 2012, the Authority will undertake a rigorous process of reaching out to potential bidders; establishing a qualified bidders list; issuing the request for proposals to those bidders; evaluating their proposals; and selecting a winning bidder. The evaluation will be based on objective criteria that will be laid out clearly in the RFP.”

As mandated by the transmission and distribution licence issued to CUC in April 2008, CUC undertook a process to identify whether Grand Cayman needed additional electricity capacity. The power company found that, due to projected peak demand growth and existing generating capacity becoming obsolete, there was a need for additional electricity generation.

Sherri Bodden-Cowan, chair of the board of the Authority, said: “Competition for new generation on Grand Cayman is one of the core principles on which new licences were granted to CUC back in 2008, and the Authority encourages all qualified bidders to respond to submit statements of qualification for consideration. The Authority will use these SOQs to determine the companies that will receive the request for proposals to provide this generation.”

Prior to the issuance of the 2008 licence, CUC had the exclusive right to generate electricity in Cayman.

In March 2009, CUC calculated that Cayman need 32 megawatts of additional capacity by 2013. This launched a bidding process which marked the first time CUC had potential competition for generating electricity. A company in Jamaica called Jamaica Energy Partners was in competition with CUC on that bid.

However, six months later, in September, 2009, the Electricity Regulatory Body announced that the economic downturn meant that the projected additional capacity was not needed and the bidding process was cancelled.

In the latest certificate of need filed by CUC, the projected date for additional generation is 2014, with a second increment of capacity needed in either 2015 or 2016, depending on the growth of the economy and development in Grand Cayman and the related demand for electricity.

The Transmission and Distribution Licence requires CUC to maintain adequate reserves of power by identifying its needs three years in advance, taking into account the need for power, the retirement of existing generation plants and other factors.

Interested parties will be invited to submit proposals for providing approximately 18 megawatts in 2014, and another 18 megawatts within the following two years. 

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Cayman will need an additional 32 megawatts of electricity capacity by 2016, according to CUC.

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